A LAZY, UNIMAGINATIVE REHASH OF ITS PREDECESSORS THAT FAILS TO DELIVER SCARES!
By Nico Beland
Movie Review: * out of 4
Samara is back to reign more terror in Rings
READER ADVISORY: THE FOLLOWING REVIEW CONTAINS INTENSE RANTING AND SOME LANGUAGE!
First You Watch It, Then You Die, not only is that an appropriate tagline for the third installment of the Ring trilogy, but my review of it in a nutshell. I’d rather be drowning in Samara’s well than analyze this atrocious movie, I’m DEAD ^%&#ING SERIOUS!
The first film released back in 2002 under direction by Gore Verbinski and starred Naomi Watts was a critical and commercial hit as well as a refreshing return to the Horror genre’s original, suspenseful roots. It did not rely on gore or any of the typical slasher movie tropes that were popular at the time, but instead an eerie, mysterious thriller with a brilliant concept and strong characters, not to mention it was one of three films that made a star out of Daveigh Chase, the other two being Disney’s Lilo & Stitch and the English dub of Hayao Miyazaki’s Spirited Away.
It helps that The Ring also happens to be one of the best Hollywood film remakes, I haven’t seen the original Japanese film, Ringu in a long time, but I appreciate that the American remake can stand on its own quite nicely. Not to mention The Ring was the film responsible for inspiring Hollywood to remake other Japanese horror movies, most notably The Grudge.
That is until The Ring Two came around in 2005 and it turned what was once a slow but effective scary picture into a complete joke. While it had a couple creepy moments, the second film didn’t have much going for it and pretty much played like The Exorcist meets Final Destination, granted Naomi Watts is still in it, she couldn’t save it.
Now twelve years after the release of The Ring Two, we got a third movie…for some reason, Rings. For the longest time, I thought there would be no way to top the awfulness of The Ring Two, I was wrong, Rings completely surprised me at how unoriginal and far from terrifying it is.
Have you seen The Ring and The Ring Two? Then you’ve seen Rings without even knowing it! It’s literally the exact same plot of the first movie except replace the likability of Naomi Watts and her son with a bunch of tools and bland characters and shoehorn moments from the second movie in there.
Set thirteen years after the events of the second film, a young woman named Julia (Matilda Lutz-Fuoriclasse, The Divorce Party) becomes worried after her boyfriend, Holt (Alex Roe-The Cut, Sniper: Legacy, The 5th Wave) discovers a mysterious videotape that, after watching it, causes you to die in seven days. Julia subjects herself to the video and sacrifices her life for Holt’s and upon doing that, she discovers that there is a “movie within the movie” that no one has ever seen before.
Julia and Holt set off to uncover the mystery behind the hidden video and possibly discover the truth about the little girl in the video who survived seven days in a well many years ago, Samara (Bonnie Morgan-Mind of Mencia, Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles, Castle).
The film also stars Johnny Galecki (National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation, Roseanne, Hancock) as Gabriel, Vincent D’Onofrio (Men in Black, Jurassic World, The Magnificent Seven) as Burke, Aimee Teegarden (Friday Night Lights, Scream 4, Star-Crossed) as Skye, Zach Roerig (As the World Turns, Friday Night Lights, The Vampire Diaries) as Carter, Laura Wiggins (Shameless, Hit List, 20th Century Women) as Faith, and Lizzie Brocheré (American Horror Story: Asylum, The Strain, Falling Water) as Kelly.
Overall Rings is an absolute mess of a horror movie; it fails as a sequel and as a horror movie on its own. Pretty much every scare in this movie has been already used in the previous movies, I swear I’m sick of seeing a corpse from behind and revealing its deformed face, if I see another one of those I’m going to shove this movie up the filmmakers’ assholes.
What happened to this franchise? You start off with a brilliant horror movie and it gets stuck in all these bad horror sequel trappings. The characters suck, the dialogue is terrible, the scares fall flat, and it just raises more questions rather than provide answers.
It’s bad folks, really, REALLY, bad, how bad is it? Rings puts Michael Bay’s Platinum Dunes horror movies to shame. I’d rather watch Texas Chainsaw Massacre: The Beginning, the 2005 Amityville Horror, or the 2010 Nightmare on Elm Street over this movie.
Aside from a couple decent performances and flashbacks of Daveigh Chase as Samara from the earlier films, there is practically nothing to redeem. Now if you’ll excuse me I’m going to jump into a well and drown myself to death.